Stuck In My Craw

Today I visited our local Dunkin Donuts drive-through. We go through here often so I can get a Coolata or the kids can get a breakfast treat. Every time, without fail, I place my order clearly & concisely and am responded to with something like this:

“K. That’ll be twelftendon eleventy-twoon. Mmrfgrgnfnarwrdpln.

Literally. Every. Single. Time. I don’t know if the same person is working the drive-through or what, but every time, Mumbly McGarblemouth gives me some inaudible total that, due to his mouth full of marbles and inability to use a normal volume, is utterly useless.

This trend has me feeling majorly punchy and I’m seeing it more and more. There are so many young people out there who are working in customer service-type jobs and cannot be bothered to actually use their mouths to form words with which to communicate. It’s as if they’re simply too lazy to make their mouths move. SO. IRRITATING.

I’ve also experienced a whole lot of rude face-to-face customer service. Well, actually, rude face-to-face encounters of all kinds. Several times I’ve been in a store and the person “waiting” on me not only obviously doesn’t want to, they refuse to make eye contact, speak directly to me or even raise their voice to a conversational volume. They could not be more inhospitable & sullen unless they told me flat out to leave because I was interrupting their “me time”.

Then there are the jerky customers who are either busy on their phones or talking to a companion as they’re being helped by someone. The employee is trying to have a transaction-conversation and the person is completely ignoring them. Not looking at them, not responding to them, nothing. I saw one Starbucks barista trying to help a woman who was so busy talking to her companion that she turned her head and barked out her order and continued her conversation, completely dismissing the barista. She had kind of thrown her money at him and he’s trying to finish the transaction – handing over the drink and telling her the total – and she’s utterly disengaged from him. She reaches over and grabs the drink and, because she’s moved away from the counter to talk to her friend, he has to place her change on the counter as he says, “$7.65 is your change”. Again, she reaches over, snaps up her paper money and just leaves the change lying there, so HE has to pick it up and put it in the tip jar. The barista shares his thank you and she completely ignores him. I just walk up to the counter and say, “Wow.” I couldn’t believe how rude that was. If you’re going to voluntarily enter into a transaction in a business establishment, at least treat the person like a human being. Put your personal crap on hold for 5 minutes, lest the employee feel like a useless pieces of garbage that you can’t be bothered to acknowledge.

There. That’s better. Employees? Stop acting like your customers are bothering you. Customers? Stop acting like employees aren’t worth even a “hello”. And young people? You have mouths, complete with jaws, lips, teeth and tongues. USE THEM. Because if you can’t be bothered to actually, y’know, TALK? I can’t be bothered to actually, y’know, PAY you.

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